What is the I Visa?

The I visa is a non-immigrant visa for representatives of foreign media coming to the United States solely for journalistic purposes.

The I visa is a non-immigrant visa for representatives of foreign media coming to the United States solely for journalistic purposes.

Occupations that may qualify for an I visa include reporters, film crews, editors, and other similar jobs.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for an I visa you must demonstrate that

  • You are truly a representative of foreign media and
  • Your activities in the United States will be essential to the functions of your organization
  • You are coming to the United States solely to engage in this profession
  • You have a home office in a foreign country

Application Process

To apply for an I visa you should visit the American Embassy or consulate with jurisdiction over your place of permanent residence.

You will be required to pay fees and go through application processing procedures established by the State Department.

Length of Stay

At the American border, an officer will stamp Form I-94 with your authorized period of stay.

I visa holders are often authorized for the duration of status without any need to apply for an extension as long as the media representative continues working for the same employer in the same information medium.

If you wish to stay beyond a specified end date, you should file Form I-539 in accordance with the form’s filing instructions.

Family of I Visa Holders

A foreign national coming to the United States on an I visa is allowed to bring his or her spouse and children under the age of 21, provided they meet certain eligibility requirements.

If the spouse and children of an I visa holder only intend to visit the United States for vacation, and do not intend to stay in the United States, they can travel to the country with either a B-2 visa under the Visa Waiver Program.

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